US asks Pak to continue Waziristan offensive

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Islamabad, Aug. 9 (ANI): In a bid to ensure that Islamabad doesn't call off or delay its military offensive in Waziristan following the reported death of Baitullah Mehsud, the United States has told Pakistan to continue fighting the war on terror in the tribal areas.

"The Obama administration is pleased over the death of Baitullah Mehsud, but it is against any decision by Islamabad to delay the South Waziristan offensive for long or call it off," The Nation quoted a diplomatic source, as saying.

Pakistan, however, wants to continue with its current policy of weakening the militants in Waziristan through air strikes and then follow it with ground offensive.

On Saturday, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that Baitullah Mehsud had died in a US missile strike on Wednesday, while his close aide Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a shootout that broke out on Friday between potential successors.

Pakistani security forces are hoping to defeat the weakened Taliban easily.

"We believe the Taliban in South Waziristan are in disarray and if they couldn't do away with their differences it would be of great advantage to the Pakistani security forces as their objective would be achieved without any offensive," an official said.

However, if the Taliban retaliated strongly contrary to our expectations and once again there was a surge in suicide bombings and subversive acts then the operation could be launched soon to eliminate the terrorists, he added. (ANI)

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